Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of Catholicism in the Philippines

“…500 years have passed since the Christian message first arrived in the Philippines. You received the joy of the Gospel... And this joy is evident in your people … We see it in your eyes, on your faces, in your songs and in your prayers. In the joy with which you bring your faith to other lands …”

~ Pope Francis said in his homily of the Mass at the Vatican on March 14, formally opening the yearlong celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of Catholicism’s arrival in the Philippines.

A country of 7,641 islands at the sea of southeast Asia with a population of 109 million, of which more than 10 million are migrants living in almost 100 countries across the world.

Why the Pope calls Filipinos “smugglers of faith”? What makes the local Church so unique?

What is the Catholic population in the country? How many dioceses, bishops are there?

All you need to know about the Church in the Philippines in one click
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Diocese of Irinjalakuda

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Diocese of Irinjalakuda
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The diocese of Irinjalakuda was established on June 22, 1978, bifurcating the diocese of Trichur and Monsignor James Pazhayattil became its first bishop. The eparchy of Irinjalakuda covers an area of about 1,180 square kilometers and has 43, 301 Catholic families at present.

The diocese is blessed with the footsteps of St. Thomas the Apostle since it contains Kodungallur where he visited in Ad 52.

The diocese of Irinjalakuda is privileged to receive the Christian faith for the first time in the history of India.


Malayalam language is in use. English, a mandatory subject in public schools, is widely spoken and understood.


The diocese enjoys four types of climate such as winter, summer, southwest monsoon and northeast monsoon.


The diocese starts from the Karuvannur river in the north to the Chalakudy river in the south. Its western boundary is the Arabian Sea and eastern side is occupied by the district of Palaghat and some parts of Tamil Nadu state.

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